Are the dialects of England disappearing in the wake of globalisation and 'Estuary English', or are geographical differences as strong as ever? Joan Beal looks at recent research into regional variation in England, discusses the evidence for 'dialect levelling' and argues that, despite this, features of dialect are still clear markers of regional and local identity. Chapters outlining the main regional differences in accent, dialect grammar and dialect vocabulary are followed by discussions of research into geographical diffusion, levelling, issues of identity and stereotypes. Each chapter is accompanied by either an exercise based on data provided, a data-gathering exercise using methodological tools provided, or an extract from a media article provided to provoke discussion. The book also includes a guide to resources available for the study of regional dialects in England. Features: * An up-to-date account of research into regional variation in England * A practical, 'hands on' approach, providing the reader with the methods and resources to carry out research projects * Includes exercises for use in class.
Joan C. Beal is Professor of English Language at the University of Sheffield and series editor for Edinburgh University Press's Dialects of English series. Before moving to Sheffield she spent 30 years at Newcastle University as a student and later lecturer/ senior lecturer in the School of English. She was co-investigator on the AHRC-funded Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English and has given interviews on TV and radio and in the local and national press on the cultural importance of Geordie. Joan Beal was born in Warrington and took her BA and PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Her teaching and research interests are in the fields of dialectology and the history of English post 1700 and she often works on the interface between these two fields. She is also interested in issues of place and identity, both with reference to language and in a broader cultural context.